Summer Goals – what do you want to achieve this summer?

Did you really just roll your eyes at me?  Of course I want to talk about summer goals!  And you know you want to write some.  Remember the end of last summer, when you casually mentioned, “What DID I do with my summer?  So much free time, and I have no idea where it all went.”  And then we agreed we would write goals more often, and check in on the progress?  Well, it is time, my friend!

Here are some pointers, so you can stop rolling your eyes and get to work:

  • Remember January, when you wrote annual goals? Fine, you thought them, you didn’t write them.  Got it.  Dust those thoughts/words/images off.  Can you re-use those goals?
    • Did you already achieve the goals? WOW! Great work!  What are your next steps?
    • Shoot, did you just find yourself in the Resolutioner category? (You know the resolutioners – they are why the gym is so busy in Jan, and then far less busy in Feb, and then not actually busy at all in March…)  No problem.  You didn’t follow through the way you had hoped.  This time, let’s just write short goals, instead of year-long goals.
      • What would you like to accomplish in the next month? Or two months?
  • Still a perfectionist, writing perfect goals? Quit it!
    • Write 80% goals.
      • Rather than “I will exercise every day!” aim for “I will exercise at least 5 times a week.”
      • Rather than “I will eat healthy things” (which was too vague, anyway!) aim for “I will eat 5 fruits and vegetables about 5 times a week”
      • The problem with perfect is that if you mess up (and you will, thank you, humans) your motivation can get zapped. Nobody is perfect.  Not even you.
  • Schedule it!
    • Do you have some goals that take some planning? Grab a calendar and get some steps of your master plan tacked down.
      • Our family wants to “travel more” – a goal that is too vague and lacks any sort of timeline. This year we said we want to leave town once a month, and we wrote (on a napkin) the weekends we might travel…and where we might go! The napkin is affixed to the calendar in a way that is slightly intrusive, and keeps us planning things.
  • Take pictures!
    • It is very easy to think that you actually haven’t made progress, when you have, in fact, made progress toward your goals. Did you go for a walk?  Take a picture on your walk!  When you scroll through your photos later, you can more easily recall that you did take actives steps to reaching your goals.
  • Enlist social support.
    • Ask a friend to join you in some goals, like walking or taking a class. Or, just check in with a friend regarding goals.  That social support, cheerleading, and encouragement goes a long way.
    • Accountability is a thing. Better to get that accountability from a friend than your therapist.  As my clients say, “I actually called my psychiatrist from the parking lot, because I knew you were going to ask, and I couldn’t justify not calling.  So I did.  Just now.”

Maybe you want to write those goals and run them by your friends, then, rather than me??  But you know I will be asking…